Epson Home Cinema 2100 1080p 3LCD projector review

The Epson Home Cinema 2100 is one of two projectors just announced by Epson that are evolutionary. The Home Cinema 2100 and 2150 are intended to replace the extremely popular Home Cinema 2040 and 2045. Aimed at home theater fans on a budget, the 2100 and its slightly more expensive sibling are priced under $1,000.

With 2500 lumens, a higher contrast ratio and a host of other features, this 3LCD projector is one to be reckoned with. In this “First Look” review of the Epson Home Cinema 2100, we’ll provide an overview of the product, the projector’s most interesting features and benefits, its differences from its predecessor and the 2150, and discuss the highlights of the 2100.

What is an observational assessment before proceeding? It’s somewhere in between our full reviews where we spent a lot of time looking at projector performance and fiddling with the full set of projector features and on the other hand putting out a press release from the manufacturer just as full of hype as they are , (as many sites do).

In some cases, our initial assessments are carried out after a brief examination of the projector, in our factory, usually only for a few days. Other times, like this time, we haven’t had a chance to play with the projector. In such cases, our goal is to apply a combination of knowledge and common sense to describe how this projector can meet your needs.

This is something we like to do, especially since the projector has just been announced, is expected to be very popular and/or a direct descendant (with limited differences) of a projector we’ve already tested. Enjoying!

OVERVIEW

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The Epson Home Cinema 2100 is a 3LCD projector that claims 2500 lumens. That’s bright enough to handle a lot of lighting situations that can’t be ideal; including rooms with a moderate amount of ambient light. The fact that the projector has 3LCD technology is an advantage, as these projectors have a higher color light output than their DLP counterparts.

Such is the case with the 2100, which has the same number of color lumens as white (typical of 3LCD and LCoS projectors). What does this mean to you? A cleaner, brighter image where the colors really pop. And the ability to get colors through that ambient light that most of us never seem to get rid of. We expect this projector to have excellent color accuracy when we review it, as this is typical of most Epson home cinema projectors.

The resolution is full 1080p, HD resolution (1920 x 1080). Epson boasts that this projector can project an image up to 132 inches diagonally (for reference, Art has a 124 inch screen in its home theater system and it is impressively large indeed). The lamp life of the Epson Home Cinema 2100 is good, although nowadays only on the high side of normal: 4000 at full power, 7500 at ECO.

It has a good contrast ratio of 35,000:1, although we tend to ignore contrast numbers as numbers can be very misleading in the world of dynamic contrast. Instead, we’re talking about black-level performance. Assuming it performs like its predecessor, the HC2040, last year’s Value winner in the under-$1,000 range, it should have some pretty impressive color accuracy, but more on that later.

The 2100 has a built-in mono speaker that should be loud enough for your particular living room, media room or home theater system. It’s a small speaker, so the sound will definitely be a bit “tinny”, with low-frequency handling leaving something to be desired. So do yourself a favor and hook this pup up to some decent speakers.

If you’ve read any of my other reviews, you know that I will always recommend that you connect your projector to a suitable set of speakers or sound system so that you can hear the sound design of movies and TV, just like the intended audio engineers . (Rock the House!) That goes for all projectors, whether they have mono or stereo speakers, or like most $2,000+ projectors, no speakers.

What can I say? As an audio professional, I can’t bear the absence of external speakers when using a projector unless it’s for a backyard movie night for the kids. That’s my opinion anyway.

The Epson Home Cinema 2100 has a number of other features that set this projector apart from others of the same price, which we’ll discuss in the next section. Read on to learn more about this Home Cinema 2040 replacement.

EPSON HOME CINEMA 2100 HIGHLIGHTS

  • 3LCD Projection Technology
  • Full 1080p (1920 x 1080p) Resolution
  • 2,500 Color and White Lumens – Bright enough to handle a moderate amount of ambient light
  • 35,000:1 Contrast Ratio
  • Good Lamp Life – 4,000 Hours in Full Power, 7,500 in ECO Mode
  • Vertical and Horizontal Keystone Correction
  • 6:1 Manual Zoom
  • Generous Amount of Lens Shift – Up to 60%
  • Built-in 10-Watt Mono Speaker
  • Light-Weight/Portable at 7.5 Pounds
  • MHL Port for Streaming Devices
  • 3D Capable
  • Frame Interpolation
  • Excellent Color Accuracy
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